Cibophobia, also known as the fear of food, is a food aversion that can quickly grow into an obsession. It can affect peoplein different ways. For examples, to some it’s a fear (not a dislike) of certain types of food, to others it may be a fear of food they’ve not prepared themselves and others may have been left with a fear of certain specific foods due to a historical traumatic event (choking etc).
People often confuse this phobia with anorexia, a dangerous eating disorder. But, the main difference is that those with Cibophobia are afraid of the food itself. In contrast, those with anorexia fear the effects of diet on body image.
The fear of food can be associated with anorexia or bulimia. If that’s likely to be the case it needs to be checked out. But only a trained clinician could make the right diagnosis.
The avoidance of food or fear of swallowing fluids is usually a consequence of the traumatic experience after drinking or eating, such as vomiting or choking.
The next cause is related to the perishable food items, usually milk and milk products. The person who has Cibophobia probably had a bad experience while eating mayonnaise, for example. The brain always recalls stressful memories while consuming those ingredients again.
It could also happen that children develop this fear while eating in front of authoritative figures, especially if they experienced abuse. Some phobics continue to confront this fear also in their adulthood.
Living in a health-obsessed society carries with it difficulty in recognizing signs of Cibophobia. If you have a fear of food, you probably fear of almost all food, or you avoid some specific food items. People who have a food phobia deal with many physical and psychological outcomes and may experience some of the following symptoms:
There are many issues that phobic individuals face daily, so let’s take a more in-depth look at them:
Untreated Cibophobia often causes obsessive behaviors, leading to health issues, including weakness, dizziness, and irritability. Here are some complications caused by untreated food phobias:
Social stigma. You may feel uncomfortable in social circumstances such as meetings in restaurants with your friends or family, or holiday gatherings, where it would be rude not to accept food. If the object of your phobia surrounds you, you can start to cry, shake, or have other physical problems.
Malnutrition. Every organism needs a certain amount of minerals, vitamins, and proteins. If not eating a colorful menu, and refusing food, or always eating the same food, it can lead to malnutrition and other health issues.
Obsessive rituals. Some individuals with phobias create their routines to reduce anxiety, such as the way of cleaning the kitchen or storing the food. In many cases, it doesn’t help them to get over their fear of food.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If the mere thought or sight of food fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.